Ruby Rios, 29, who is already on probation from a 2011 arrest for driving drunk with a child in the car, is accused of putting a child in danger again.
San Antonio police arrested her late Sunday night after finding her 3-year-old daughter home alone.
Neighbors at the apartment complex in the 2600 block of General McMullen Drive called police shortly before midnight.
Becka Roe said she was asleep in her apartment when she heard someone ringing her doorbell repeatedly.
“I opened the door and I looked and (the child) was right here,” she said. "I let her in and I looked for the mother. The mother wasn't there. Door was wide open. Couldn't find her."
Roe said she had no choice but to call police.
Twice before, she said, she has come to Rios’ rescue without involving authorities.
"This is actually the third time the child has come to my house looking for her mom in the late hour of the night,” Roe said. "The first two times, I let it go. But there's only so much you can take.”
Gina Reyes said she also saw what was going on and helped Roe search for Rios while they waited for officers to arrive.
"Why would you leave a 3-year-old?,” she wondered aloud Monday morning. “Why would you even leave her alone? I got four kids and my kids are everything to me. I would not leave my kids alone at all."
At some point long after officers had arrived, Rios returned home carrying a grocery bag containing beer and cigarettes, a police report said.
According to the report, she told officers she had asked someone else to watch the child while she went to the store.
However, police did not believe her and arrested her on a charge of abandoning a child.
Records show Rios has put her daughter in danger before.
She was arrested in March 2011 on a charge of driving while intoxicated with a child in the car.
Rios was placed on four years’ probation as a result of that case.
Police said she is currently under court order to wear an ankle monitor.
It’s unclear whether the monitor was in place during this latest incident.